|UMM Team with their throphy. (Photo: Special)|
Salt included in renewable minerals with unlimited amounts. Indonesia with its tropical climate and long coastline is a country with promising salt production potential. On the other hand, domestic and world salt usage continues to increase. To cover that, import is needed.
In 2018 Indonesia's salt imports will reach 3.7 million tons with a value of 83.6 million USD, and in 2019 salt imports will be allocated 2.7 million tons. The reason given by the Government is that the production and quality of Indonesia's local salt are insufficient for the needs of the domestic industry, both for industrial and food purposes.
"It means that the state has spend Rp1, 34 Trillion for salt imports. With such a large import cost, while salt farmers are far from being prosperous," said Haryo Widya Darman, Mechanical Engineering student at the University of Muhammadiyah Malang when explaining his proposal at the Mechanical Engineering Design IX.
"The lack of expert assistance and not maximal traditional exploitation have some shortcomings, such as limited land ownership, highly dependent on weather and low production efficiency, making local salt quality less desired by industries," Haryo said Monday (10/14).
According to students who have won this international event, a solution is needed in the form of additional land that is flexible and helps accelerate the production of salt according to the standards, so that it can be moved and brought closer to the factory, thereby reducing transport and truck operating costs.
"The solution in the form of adding floating land makes sense because it can be moved or brought closer to the factory. And embedded additional technology in the form of an android control device to determine the position, water content, temperature, and activation of automatic mechatronic features," he explained.
Because it has a roof, mirror, windmill generator, automatically controlled shovel, stainless barge, tow hook and anchor which makes it easy to move so that the manufacture of hybrid salt ponds is expected to be a solution to help farmers accelerate the production of salt according to industry standards.
With this barge design, it is expected to be the solutions such as land limitations because the crystallization process is carried out on the sea, the quality of salt that can be improved such as cleanliness, color, decrease in water content, and production acceleration that was originally 15 days to 8-10 days due to mechatronic engineering.
"This means that the production of the harvest will be faster with better quality and will increase the selling price of a higher crop. It is hoped that this solution will be the cause of the cessation of salt imports by the government. We are currently preparing patent documents for this product," concluded Haryo, the UMM team leader.
Haryo did not fight alone. In this competition was in a team with other mechanical engineering students, namely Zehandana Khatami (2016 students), and his younger brother Annisa Widya Nurmalitasari (2007 students). With this team composition, they managed to get 7th place out of 44 proposals participating in the selection.
Although they have not yet received satisfactory results, their finding machine is again contested at the event held by the Association of Mechanical Engineering Department-Muhammadiyah Universities in Indonesia. From the results of the selection of the finalists with 8 teams in total, the UMM White Campus team succeeded in achieving 2nd place. (joh)